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Intimate Stranger (1991)

7.5
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A documentary about the director's maternal grandfather.

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Title: Intimate Stranger (1991)

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A documentary about the director's maternal grandfather.

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3 October 1991 (USA)  »

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Interesting Tale of a True Person!
8 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Joseph Cassuto (1904-1974) was an interesting figure. For starters, he has an Italian sounding name but was really Jewish and born in Alexandria, Egypt. I caught this documentary by accident on public television and I watched all of it. Despite the poor quality with regards to archival footage and editing, the story was quite interesting tale. Joseph Cassuto's grandson is the film director here. He is the son of his only daughter, Regina Cassuto. When Joseph and his family lived in Alexandria, Egypt before World War II, they lived a wonderful life of friends among a large population of expatriates from other countries. Joseph might have been born Jewish but he was really Japanese at heart. While the world may have been at war with the Japanese, Joseph gave his heart and his time to them often sacrificing long time away from his family in Brooklyn, New York. When he settled in New York City, he was no longer a big fish in a little pond like in Alexandria. He was in a land of strangers and uncomfortable. Joseph sought refuge in Japan where he made lifelong friends with the Japanese who returned the friendship whether business, pleasure, and company. He truly felt at home with the Japanese more than his own family who held their personal feelings to themselves. It is an interesting documentary but it would have been better instead of voices playing over home movies and photographs that we would see the people behind it. That is my only complaint about it.


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